The European Pallet Association has made a major breakthrough in the battle against counterfeiters of EPAL Euro pallets. Thanks to the extensive teamwork of the EPAL representation in Ukraine and the independent inspection company Bureau Veritas, it has been possible to identify a producer of illegal EPAL pallets. In a joint campaign with the local police force, Bureau Veritas and Ukrainian lawyers, EPAL located and seized large quantities of counterfeit EPAL Euro pallets, as well as counterfeit branding plates. The counterfeiter will face criminal prosecution for the commercial infringement of trademark laws.
Ukraine is the focus of the work currently being carried out by the European Pallet Association (EPAL) against professional counterfeiters. The aim is to track down the producers of counterfeit EPAL Euro pallets, seize the illegal pallets and destroy them. EPAL is simultaneously providing information within Ukraine about the advantages of producing and repairing EPAL Euro pallets under an EPAL licence while explaining to the retail and logistics industries the disadvantages of using counterfeit pallets.
If goods are exported into the EU from Ukraine on counterfeit EPAL pallets, the customs authorities can hold the complete load for up to ten days. If it is confirmed that the suspect pallets are counterfeits, the entire load must be re-palletted at the expense of the haulier or exporter. There is also the risk that the delay in delivery could incur contractual penalties or the delivery being rejected. Counterfeit pallets are destroyed on behalf of the customs authorities. This also applies if the counterfeit pallets have been bought in Ukraine and shipped abroad. In such cases, there is the risk of losing the entire value of the goods.
At a press conference held by EPAL on 3rd March 2016 in Kiev, CEO of EPAL, Martin Leibrandt stressed that: “The use of illegally produced pallets for transportation and storage facilities conceals considerable risks for logistics and retail companies. Investigation of the counterfeit pallets has revealed that the overwhelming majority are produced from low grade materials and undersized boards. Counterfeit pallets therefore do not have the stability and safe working load of original EPAL Euro pallets. The use of counterfeit pallets can lead to extensive disruptions to transportation and warehouse logistics, which can create additional costs and claims for compensation.”